Dana1981 asked in EnvironmentGlobal Warming · 10 years ago

Why do political conservatives support socialist nuclear power?

It's always puzzled me that people who decry socialism also tend to support nuclear power. Nuclear power loans and insurance come straight from taxpayers. It's basically socialized power, and the countries relying most on nuclear power (France, China, etc.) do so by effecitively socializing the power industry. Time has a good story on nuclear power in the US today:

"Since 2008, proposed reactors have been quietly scrapped or suspended in at least nine states — not by safety concerns or hippie sit-ins but by financial realities. Other projects have been delayed as cost estimates have tripled toward $10 billion a reactor, and ratings agencies have downgraded utilities with atomic ambitions."

"Around the world, governments (led by China, with Russia a distant second) are financing 65 new reactors through more explicit nuclear socialism. But private capital still considers atomic energy radioactive, gravitating instead toward natural gas and renewables, whose costs are dropping fast. Nuclear power is expanding only in places where taxpayers and ratepayers can be compelled to foot the bill."


Electrical utilities can't afford to build $10 billion nuclear power plants without huge loans, which nobody but the government will give them. Insurance companies won't insure nuclear construction projects or plants, so if anything goes wrong during construction or operation, taxpayers foot the bill. There's simply no way to expand nuclear power without effectively socializing it.

So why do conservatives support nuclear socialism?

8 Answers

  • booM
    Lv 5
    10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Because most other alternative methods of producing energy such as wind and solar have been co-opted by the left. We can analyze the political polarization in this country to death, but it's like the question a little while ago about who uses political terms in this category more.

    It's so freakin' obvious I'm actually getting impatient with the way people pussyfoot around about stuff.

    The Democratic Party and the left have by and large been opposed to nuclear power for decades and have championed other forms of energy production. In terms of political momentum, that's all it takes for the right and conservatives to support nuclear power and oppose the alternatives the left supports.

    Source(s): Dollars to donuts some people are not going to grasp 'political momentum.'
  • 10 years ago

    Socialism seems to be a difficult thing to define because (from what I understand) it comes in various forms. Regardless, I think you could argue that nuclear power encompasses aspects of it. You seemed to have some arguments which helped backed this up and I think they make sense. Perhaps to help illustrate my own point better, I'll provide another example which will focus on pensions that are given to the elderly.

    I think you could argue that pensions has both a capitalist and socialist tinge (perhaps other things too) because of the way it all ends up working. The money tends to come from taxes of the people, correct? It's then given to the elderly by the government who then use it for various things. It seems to me like the socialist aspect would be the wealth of the people which is taxed and given back to society (in this case it's the elderly) whilst the capitalist portion would encompass that money being spent at businesses (products bought such as food) which results in said company earning a profit.

    Now, I don't consider myself to have any political leanings and instead go on what I think is right, just and logical. If my argument is indeed true, then I don't really understand those who would decry socialism in all it's forms. Pure capitalism certainly doesn't sound like a perfect thing either and we see this in life through things such as corrupt businesses (as one example). Therefore, those (such as conservatives) who support nuclear power, yet demonise socialism in all it's forms do sound hypocritical.

    But the support of nuclear power is for various reasons. Sure, there will be those who cry for it's use just to score political points, but there is also other arguments which are logical that have been discussed many times.

  • 4 years ago

    a million. shape of nuclear skill flowers - Conservatives (maximum probable, regardless of the undeniable fact that i would be extremely joyful if a Liberal helps it) 2. Disarmament - the two (yet, with differing strategies to it) 3. helping 18 years previous's dazzling to vote - the two 4. President making reforms - Neither 5. women haveing same opportunities as men - the two 6. human beings starting to be a member of the socialist social gathering - Liberals 7. human beings to hold their traditions - Conservatives 8. Strict police - the two (relies upon upon the subject count)

  • ?
    Lv 7
    10 years ago

    anybody with a minimal science education will soon realize that nuclear power generation is not a demon. they will also realize that so called green technologies will never support the electrical infrastructure of a country as large as the u.s.a. nuclear power better be here to stay. otherwise we will be a 3rd world country sitting on our collective hands, and wondering why the rest of the world is laughing at us. if we can change the way regulation is handled; nuclear power will be cost effective. if we demand the same safety restrictions that nasa has to use in manned flight, we will never get anywhere. other countries don,t seem to have trouble using nuc power. i,m sure no one anywhere wants to be radioactive.

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  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    Dana, I thought you were a climate realist. The reason why so many skeptics support nuclear power is that, to them, it seems hypocritical that people who want to reduce CO2 emissions are against nuclear power, and on this point, I agree. Regarding the word "socialist," it is a word that denialists use to shut down rational discussion of global warming. Shame on you for lowering yourself to your tactics.

    Regarding subsidies, what do you think that Cap and Trade is? Just because the money probably goes to the guy who claims that he will plant trees, even though his real intention is to buy a HUMMER^TM, without using the government as an intermediary, it is still a subsidy.

    If you want to get rid of subsidies, why not just ban the construction of coal fired power plants and only allow new natural gas power plants as a backup to renewables. You should note that nuclear power is better than renewables, because it does not require natural gas as a backup.

  • JimZ
    Lv 7
    10 years ago

    I tend not to like government subsidized power or peanut farming or ethanol or you name it. It is a corrupting factor. Much of our nuclear industry had dual purposes, one of which was to produce nuclear weapons. Obviously plutonium has to be strictly controlled. Beyond that I tend to agree that it is of limited use.

  • They are simply dittoheads repeating what they hear.

  • gcnp58
    Lv 7
    10 years ago

    You are expecting rational behavior from a set of people that are willing to believe at least 20 mutually exclusive theories about why CO2 cannot drive climate are simultaneously true?

    There is no answer to your question except that if you can believe 20 mutually exclusive things to be simultaneously true, you are capable of rationalizing anything, or maybe ignoring it entirely if it is in any way inconvenient.

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